Composer Spotlight: Heather Bentley

SCA Composer Spotlight: Heather Bentley

SCA Vice President Amy Denio chats with violist and composer Heather Bentley about the art of improvisation, evolving from a professional symphonic player to a commissioned symphonic composer, the fertile Seattle creative music community, and the etymology of dead ringers.

Seattle-based violist and composer Heather Bentley has trail-blazed a career as one of the West Coast’s most visible improvisatory musicians, specializing in creating evocative atmospheres and textures. Classically trained, she has shifted to an unabashedly experimental artistic output: As a performer, she can be seen performing on instruments like her electric seven string and five string violins or her electronic pedal board in numerous chamber ensembles that utilize improvisation, electronics, and often both. As a composer, her work for chamber ensembles and orchestras has been performed by organizations across both California and Washington. Relentless in her pursuit of creativity, she continues this work as co-founder of Kin of the Moon, a 501(c)3 organization which fosters collaboration between artists in service of creating unique art.